Northern Ireland

Ballymena mother Sarah Lamont gives son 'gift of life'

SARAH LAMONT AND JOE Image copyright Sarah Lamont
Image caption Sarah Lamont, from Ballymena with her four-year-old son Joe

What are you giving your loved ones for Christmas - perfume, jewellery, money? What about the gift of life?

For one County Antrim mother, this will be the gift she will be giving to her four-year-old son in the New Year.

Sarah Lamont, from Ballymena, will be taking Joe to Birmingham for life-saving transplant surgery; she is his living donor.

She will be donating part of her liver and one of her kidneys to her desperately ill child.

'Never expected to live past birth'

Joe was born with a rare kidney condition - autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease.

His mum said he was never expected to live past birth but, against the odds, he did and his path since has not been an easy one.

He has had to have both his kidneys removed and has had a number of serious illnesses in his short life.

Joe has been on the waiting list for combined liver and kidney transplants for two years.

But his situation is unique as his mum will be the person giving him the organs.

'Cat with nine lives'

"There was no sign of Joe getting the call, and it is standard for parent to donate organs and I asked if I could do both," she said.

"They hadn't suggested it before because it hadn't been done before but in January I will donate part of my liver and a few months later my kidney.

Sarah described what his life has been like to BBC Nolan reporter Nicola Weir.

"He's had a really hard run," she said. "His doctors have called him a miracle. He's like the cat with nine lives.

"We've been told so many times 'we can't do any more prepare for the worst'.

'Fighting so hard'

"He's a great, funny feisty wee boy and he puts up with so much.

"I just want him to be a normal happy wee boy and have the opportunity to grow up and get a job and get married and have babies.

"If I can help him do that like any parent - you'd do anything for your child.

"He's fighting so hard to stay on this earth so I have to be his mummy and fight for him too."

Sarah is passionate about organ donation and said: "I would urge everybody to sit down and have a chat with their loved ones about what their wishes are."

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